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Are you ready for the country? Donk’s returns for 41st season

In the very first song performed on Saturday night in Donk’s Theater’s new temporary venue, Richard Smith asked the musical question “Are You Ready for the Country?”

The applause from the capacity crowd in the Harry M. Ward Auditorium at Mathews High School left little doubt that the answer was an emphatic “Yes.”

Less than three months after the roof collapsed at the Donk’s Theater building in Hudgins, Virginia’s Li’l Ole Opry was back where it belongs—on stage entertaining its fans.

For the first 23 years of its existence—from 1947 to 1970—Donk’s Theater in Hudgins was Mathews County’s place to go for movies. Then the movie house closed and the building sat empty and unused for the next five years before Mathews native Jimmy Smith saw the opportunity to live out a long-time dream, turning the space into a popular country music venue.

From 1975 through today, the monthly shows have hardly missed a b...

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